Local pols take ice bucket challenge to raise awareness for ALS

Challenge accepted.

A little cold water was no match for Councilmember Vincent Gentile who, on Wednesday, August 20, set up shop outside his new district office at 8018 Fifth Avenue to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – a challenge that has gone viral in support of those fighting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“That’s colder than it looks,” said the councilmember after being drenched by Ridgeite Arlene Rutuelo and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, both of whom had already accepted the challenge and, in turn, nominated Gentile. Rutuelo was nominated by State Senator Marty Golden, who accepted the challenge on August 18, and Malliotakis by friend John Papanier.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge spread through social media this summer, daring nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water – complete with visible ice – poured on their heads. One common stipulation gives nominees 24 hours to complete the dare; otherwise, he or she is asked to donate money to charity (that charity being either the ALS Association, or another non-profit dedicated to funding Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Having gone as viral as A-list celebrities dousing themselves and their families, in icy water, the challenge is seeing most participants both accept the challenge and make a donation. Since the challenge’s inception, the ALS has seen a 1,000 percent spike in donations.

“I just wrote my check and it will be going out this afternoon,” said Gentile just moments before the big pour, as Malliotakis added one more bag of ice to her already cold bucket, “all in the fun of producing some needed funds for ALS.”

Gentile, in turn, called out Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny and two members of the press – 970 AM’s Frank Morano and NY1’s Errol Louis – before declaring his accompanying $100 donation.

Borough President Eric Adams, responding to a nomination by former City Councilmember Domenic Recchia, took the challenge – and donated – earlier this month after being doused by the hands of Sarah Pattison, walk program manager for the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter.

“Every 90 minutes, someone dies from ALS,” said the beep in his viral video. “There are 5,600 cases diagnosed per year, or 15 people per day.”

Additionally, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo Scissura gladly accepted the challenge.

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